How to Remove Stains From Patios and Decks

  • 01 of 02

    How to Remove Patio Stains

    stone patio
    Stone and concrete patios need care when being cleaned. oocoskun

    We love our patios and decks in summer! And why not? Great weather, friends, family and barbeque make for great memories.

    But sometimes our wood deck or brick or stone patios can take a beating with stains from food, trees, dirt and grime. And then it’s time to break out the power washer and elbow grease to get it back into shape.

    In this tutorial, let’s review some common stains you may encounter during use of a deck or patio and how you can remove and clean them.

    Removing Stains From Hard Surface...MORE Patios

    Hard surface patios can include concrete, brick pavers, flagstone or concrete pavers. They wear like iron but are prone to staining and need cleaning like anything else. Let’s review some common stains and how to clean them. In all cases you can also try and use a power washer if you have one.
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    Stain Source: Food, oil, grease
    Cleaning Technique: Use a grease cutting dish washing detergent or a biodegradable de-greaser like Simple Green® which you can get easily from Amazon. 
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    Mix the detergent with hot to warm water and using a stiff bristled brush or broom generously apply the soapy solution into the stain using a vigorous back and forth motion. Rinse with clean water and repeat as necessary to remove the stain.

    If the stain is stubborn and does not come out, try adding a bit of ammonia to the cleaning solution and follow the same procedure above. If that does not work try scrubbing with mineral spirits and rinse well with clean water.

    Stain Source: Paint, paraffin or wax
    Cleaning Technique: First, try scraping as much of the residue off as possible using a putty knife. Using a metal bristled scrub brush, scrub the area with clean water to try and loosen the debris. If that does not work try scrubbing with mineral spirits and rinse well with clean water.

    Stain Source: Blood, tea, coffee, soft drinks, juices, mixes
    Cleaning Technique: As with food, oil and grease stains, use a grease cutting dish washing detergent or a biodegradable de-greaser like Simple Green®, only this time mix the detergent with cold water. Use a stiff bristled broom or brush, generously apply the soapy solution into the stained area using a vigorous back and forth motion. Rinse with clean water and repeat as necessary to remove the stain.

    Stain Source: Tar, rubber marks
    Cleaning Technique: This is tough one. Use a grease cutting dish washing detergent or a biodegradable de-greaser mixed with warm to hot water. Use a stiff bristled scrub brush and apply the soapy solution into the stained area using a vigorous back and forth motion. Rinse with clean water and repeat as necessary to remove the stain.

    If that does not work try a generous amount of mineral spirits applied to the area, scrub with a brush and blot with a clean cloth. Be prepared to do this a few times.

    If that fails try Krud Kutter®
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    As a last resort you can try muriatic acid following manufacturer directions, mixed 1:1 with water and a stiff bristled brush. Flush with water when done. Be sure to wear thick rubber gloves and wrap around eye protection. Be aware however that muriatic acid may discolor some paving surfaces.

    Stain Source: Efflorescence
    Cleaning Technique: Sometimes new masonry will create a white powdery film from the salts in the grout. To clean this stain, rub the stained area with a stainless steel wire brush and rinse clean. If that does nit work try a commercial masonry cleaner like MasonrySaver®
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    Stain Source: Dirt and mud
    Cleaning Technique: This stain is pretty easy to clean. Try simple water and a stiff brush or broom first. If needed, add dish washing detergent or a biodegradable de-greaser like Simple Green®. Also try trisodium phosphate mixed with warm water and rub into the stain with a broom or scrub brush. Rinse with clean water.

    Stain Source: Soot
    Cleaning Technique: This is another tough one. It is best cleaned with muriatic acid mixed 1:1 with water and a stiff bristled brush following manufacturer directions. As before, flush with water when done. Don’t forget to wear thick rubber gloves and wrap around eye protection. Be aware however that muriatic acid may discolor some paving surfaces.

    Continue to 2 of 2 below.
  • 02 of 02

    How to Remove Wood Deck Stains

    WOOD DECK CLEANER
    Wood deck cleaner. Home-Cost.com

    Wood decks can’t handle the chemicals we used on hard patio surfaces. The best bet for wood decks is to follow the tips outlined in the tutorial how to clean and brighten a wood deck.